On April 14, 2017, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang announced at the regular press conference that at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes of Turkey, the government of Jordan, Vice President Sorena Sattari of Iran and the government of South Africa, Vice Premier Liu Yandong of the State Council of China will pay official visits to Turkey, Jordan, Iran and South Africa from April 17 to 27. She will also co-host with Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture of South Africa, the first meeting of the China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism.
In recent years, with the personal commitment of the two leaders and joint efforts of both sides, the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and South Africa has been growing with strong momentum. With an unprecedented high degree of political mutual trust, fruitful practical cooperation across the board and brilliant people-to-people and cultural exchanges, China-South Africa relationship is at its historical best.
A major mission of Vice Premier Liu's visit to South Africa is to launch the China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism, an important part of the consensus reached between the two heads of state. This mechanism is the first of its kind between China and African countries, which covers cooperation in a wide range of areas such as education, culture, science and technology, health, youth, women, press, think tanks, tourism, sports, and local friendship. This mechanism is of high significance as we build up popular support for China-South Africa friendship, deepen our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and Africa.
To officially inaugurate this mechanism is also an important part of implementing the outcomes of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit. During the visit, Vice Premier Liu will meet with President Zuma, co-host the first meeting of the mechanism with Minister Mthethwa and attend the China-Africa Conference on Health Cooperation, the China-South Africa seminar on industrial park cooperation, the China-South Africa High-level Dialogue, the closing ceremony of the second China-Africa Youth Gala and the show to celebrate the inauguration of the China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism & the 23rd anniversary of the New South Africa.